Predicting the next Champions League winner with only stats

The Champions League knockouts are finally here, and that can only mean one thing ...

It's time for our third annual pseudoscientific attempt at using nothing but cold, hard data to predict who is going to win the Champions League.

Like we've done the past two years, we're going to consider the previous 13 winners of the tournament, and then figure out which team in the current field looks the most like those prior champions. Rather than doing anything fancy like creating an algorithm, running a regression or deriving AI-calculated insights via machine learning powered by the energy at the core of the sun, we're just going to make our way down a list of (mostly) simple statistics and eliminate whatever teams don't meet the bare-minimum criteria, one by one.

Who looks the most like a Champions League winner this season? Let's find out.

Note: All stats come courtesy of Stats Perform, unless otherwise noted, and are based on domestic competition only.